A fall-inspired buttermilk skillet cake, filled with pears and pecans and scented with cinnamon sugar.
Some days I get a baking itch that begs to be satisfied. Often it’s not even about eating all of the deliciousness afterwards (although sometimes it is, let’s be honest here), but I just have the urge to pull out some ingredients and make something with them. More often than not I give in, and wonderful things happen.
Like this pear cinnamon-sugar cake baked in a skillet. Pure spur-of-the-moment inspiration, execution and satisfaction.
It was a dreary afternoon and I found myself alone for a few hours. I should have taken a nap or watched something super girly, or painted my nails. But instead I baked, without distraction. I had a few lovely pears that needed to be used up, and I was in the mood for something cinnamony and comforting.
This hit the spot perfectly. Not only was it easy and fun to put it together, but it was delicious too!
baking tip:How to make cinnamon-sugar
Cinnamon sugar is one of my favorite fall “spices”. I store a jar of it on the counter to mix into coffee, sprinkle on toast, and use in my baking. I’ve found the best ratio is 4 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon. For example, 1/4 cup sugar to 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.
Pear Cinnamon-Sugar Skillet Cake
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup (142 grams) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk
- 2 pears, sliced
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) pecans, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (see note)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the mixer in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in half of the chopped pecans.
- Spread the batter into the prepared skillet. Arrange the pear slices on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and the remaining chopped pecans.
- Bake until edges of the cake are golden and a toothpick inserted to the center come out with a few moist crumbs, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Make cinnamon sugar by combining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Store unused cinnamon sugar in an airtight container.
- This recipe can be easily baked in a 9-inch round cake pan. Grease and flour, and line with parchment paper and proceed with the recipe as written.